Debate: Do we still need IT training teams?

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Do we need IT Training teams? In my opinion. Yes. Lynda.com is NOT a replacement.

This is an issue close to my heart. I was an IT Trainer. Are these teams expensive? Yes. Do we have impact? Not necessarily at the scale the powers above would like. Do we make a difference? Yes to every person that comes on our courses and learns something.

Debate: Do we still need IT training teams?
Chair: Sarah Knight, Senior Co-design Manager, Jisc

  • James Clay, Project Manager, Jisc
  • Fiona Handley, Senior Lecturer in Learning and Teaching, University of Brighton
  • Ellie Russell, Student Engagement Partnership Manager, NUS
  • Fiona Strawbridge, Head of Digital Education, University College London
  • David Walker, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning, University of Sussex

Fiona doesn’t see the demise as inevitable. Instead she thinks teams need to reflect on what they do and how they do it. Ditch manuals and three hour training courses and look at alternative ways.

Our biggest issue is getting staff to get to see that improving their skills IS important.

Ellie says students still value the face to face. They enjoy the personalised experience. A blended approach is necessary.

James Clay emphasises that technology has changed and it will continue to. I wrote a post on the exponential curve a while ago titled Exponential growth technology and higher education. James questions why we are employing people without the necessary skills in the first place and if we do we need make sure you have the budget to support that training.

Evolution is the answer, not replacement.

If you ask people whether they like face to face learning they will generally say yes. We still need to provide for those who don’t. James says to be careful of the question as it can be leading.

Can we trust staff to manage their own development? James would argue if they don’t know what they don’t know then no. If they do then fine. It was argued we need to use gap fit analyses to show people what they need to know.

Sarah said that we need to make people capable of using technology. Not just showing them how to use a technology. Too true. We should make it so people aren’t afraid to pick up something new.

Pressure from student needs is seen as a way to persuade academic staff to participate in development opportunities.

How do we share the little things, that we assume other people already know?

We need IT Trainers. The learning curve is only going to get steeper. We need to ensure we are inclusive. Offer multiple methods.

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